Marijuana Statistics: 48.2mn Americans Use It!

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Long-term effects of marijuana can create problems in a developing brain. Let’s look at some shocking marijuana statistics in this article.

Marijuana is a greenish-grey mixture of dry flowers, stems, and leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant. The plant has chemicals that can affect your brain or change your mood. People use marijuana in various forms like they roll marijuana and smoke like a cigarette or use it in food or brew it as tea.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana plants as medicine. However, CBD(cannabidiol) extracted from this plant is legal under Federal law.

Many states in the US allow THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) for medical benefits. If you want to use marijuana to treat diseases, check your State laws and then use it.

Marijuana Statistics

Remember, marijuana is addictive. Once you are addicted, you will desire to take this drug. If you try to quit, you will have symptoms like anxiety, craving, irritability, coughing, breathing problems, and have difficulties in thinking, learning and memory.

Again, using marijuana during pregnancy is harmful to the unborn baby. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should strictly avoid marijuana.

The article discusses marijuana statistics in detail. So, you can continue reading this article for more information.

Medicinal Effects Of Marijuana

The marijuana plant has certain chemicals which help in treating diseases. Many states are making it legal to use this plant to treat health problems. The plant contains various compounds, among which THC(delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and cannabidiol(CBD) are of medical interest.

The FDA approves two drugs that contain THC. They are used to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy or increase appetite in a patient who has weight loss because of AIDS. There is also a liquid drug containing CBD, used to treat childhood epilepsy. However, there is not enough research on using marijuana to treat many diseases.

Marijuana Statistics


  • According to United Nations, 158.8 million people worldwide use marijuana.1
  • According to the survey period from 2011 to 2019 highest number of cannabis users are found in Asia, followed by Americans and Africa.2

United States

  • 48.2 million Americans use marijuana at least once in 2019.3
  • According to National Survey on Drug use and health, 2.1 million people in the United States abused marijuana in 2017.1
  • Production of marijuana in the US increased tenfold from 1,000 metric tons to 10,000 metric tons in 25 years from 1981 to 2006.1
Marijuana Statistics

Marijuana Legalization In the United States

  • 60 percent of U.S. adults reported that people should use marijuana both for medical and recreational use.4
  • Thirty-one percent of U.S. adults reported that people use marijuana for medical purposes only.4
  • Eight percent of U.S. adults say that people should not use marijuana for recreational and medical purposes.4
  • Thirty-two percent of older adults above 75 years old say that marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational purposes, whereas 53 percent of seniors above 75 years say marijuana should be legal for medical use only.5
  • Fourteen percent of seniors above 75 years says that people should not use marijuana for medical and recreational purpose.5
  • Eighteen states, two territories, and the District of Columbia legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.6

Marijuana Use In Teenagers

  • 37 percent of high school students in the United States admitted to having used marijuana while 22 percent admitted that they had used marijuana in the past 30 days.7
  • The use of marijuana increases with the age of teenagers.29.7 percent of 10th-grade teenagers admit to having used marijuana while 44.5 percent of 12th-grade teenagers have tried marijuana.8
  • 22.5 percent of 12th-grade teenagers admit to having used marijuana in the past month, and six percent of 12th graders reported that they had used it daily.8
  • Men use more marijuana compared to females.9
  • In some schools, the use of marijuana is decreasing in males of 10th graders, whereas in females, it remained steady.10
  • The teenagers who are not heterosexual or identified as nonbinary gender try more marijuana compared to heterosexual teenagers.11
Marijuana Statistics

Methods of Taking Marijuana 

  • Smoking marijuana is one of the common ways used by most youths.12
  • About one in eight 10th graders use dabs followed by one in nine consuming marijuana edibles, one in 15 use vaping marijuana, and one in 30 drink marijuana beverages.12
  • Six to eight percent of teenagers reported buying marijuana from the store.12
  • Almost half of the teenagers reported getting marijuana from friends, i.e., one in six (15-18 percent)said that they give money to someone to buy marijuana for them, and 13 percent get marijuana from the party.12
  • Thirty-eight percent of 12th graders reported that it’s not easy to get marijuana.12
  • Almost half of the 12th graders(53 percent) who reported using marijuana for the last 30 days also said that they had driven within three hours of taking marijuana in the past 30 days.12
  • The rate of vaping marijuana became more than double in high school seniors between 2017-2020. Almost 8 percent of 8th graders reported vaping marijuana at least once a year.13

Increase in Rate of Marijuana Use

  • 11 percent of students reported using marijuana in e-cigarettes at any time in 2017. But that increased to 19.5 percent in 2020.17
  • The increase in the use of marijuana increased in all racial and ethnic groups from 2017 to 2020. The Hispanic youths had a high prevalence, followed by nonhispanic black youths.17
  • Recreational marijuana is legal in 18 states of the United States but only for adults who are 21 years and above.24
  • The laws of medical marijuana vary from one state to another. But in most states, marijuana is given to children and teenagers for qualifying medical conditions. For instance, in Washington, the qualifying medical conditions are cancer, traumatic brain injury, and chronic kidney failure.25
Marijuana Statistics

Effect Of Marijuana On Teenagers

  • The teenager who regularly use marijuana lose almost an average of 1.5 IQ points by the time he reaches adulthood.14
  • The intake of marijuana has a more negative effect on teenagers’ cognitive development than alcohol.14
  • Teenagers who use marijuana are less likely to graduate from high school or college than teenagers who do not use marijuana.15
  • In 2016 nearly 4 million people above 12 years old had marijuana use disorder. The most severe form is called addiction.16
  • The use of marijuana in e-cigarettes has increased from 2017 to 2018 among adolescents in the United States. It leads to a decline in memory, attention, and learning.17
  • Nearly one in six teenagers become addicted to marijuana. Teenagers who start using marijuana before the age of 18 are more likely to develop 4-6 times marijuana disorder than adults.20
  • The smoke of marijuana contains 50-70 percent more cancer-causing substances than cigarette smoking which is harmful to teenagers.20
  • Some studies even say that using marijuana can increase the risk of lung cancer.22
  • The teens who vape marijuana put their lungs at significant risk. The National data from patients of the report shows that THC-containing e-cigarette and vaping products, mainly from informal sources, friends, or online dealers, are linked to lung injury cases.23
  • Problems at school are more common in teenagers who take marijuana. It is mainly observed in male teenagers.24

Several states have legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. But the drug remains illegal in some states, and police officers in the United States have been arrested for marijuana offenses.

  • 663,000 people were arrested for marijuana-related offenses in 50 States and the District of Columbia, which accounts for 40 percent of the 1.65 million drug arrests in the United States.18
  • The second-largest category for drug arrests was other drugs(29 percent), followed by heroin, cocaine, or derivatives (25 percent) and synthetic or manufactured drugs(6 percent).18
  • Driving after taking marijuana can increase the risk of accidents in young drivers, and the risk is more significant than consuming a small amount of alcohol.19
  • Researchers have found that using marijuana while driving affects concentration and may lead to poor speed control, drowsiness, and inability to see the road signals.19
  • Marijuana is one of the most common drugs found in drivers (14 percent)who die because of accidents.21
Marijuana Statistics

Wrap Up

Marijuana is one of the most common illegal drugs in the United States. Although it has medical effects, excessive use of marijuana can speed up your heart rate and makes your heart work harder. Research even shows that it reduces bone density.

After smoking, you can feel the effect of marijuana immediately, and the effect lasts for almost 3 hours. In contrast, if you eat marijuana-based food like brownies, the effect is delayed, but it will last longer.

I hope this article has given you helpful information and please don’t forget to share this article with me on searching for this particular information.

You can ask me any queries related to marijuana in the comment section. I will be happy to answer all your queries.


  1. Marijuana Statistics – Cannabis Use Statistics – Drug-Free World
  2. Cannabis users worldwide number by region 2011-2019 | Statista
  3. Data and Statistics
  4. Fewer than 10% of U.S. adults say marijuana should not be legal at all | Pew Research Center
  5. Majorities across age groups – except 75 and older – say marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational uses | Pew Research Center
  6. Cannabis Overview
  7. Teens | Health Effects | Marijuana | CDC
  8. Marijuana and Teens | CS Mott Children’s Hospital | Michigan Medicine
  9. Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  10. Trends and Characteristics in Marijuana Use Among Public School Students — King County, Washington, 2004–2016 | MMWR
  11. Adolescent Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Cannabis Use: Potential Mediations by Internalizing Disorder Risk – Adrian Buttazzoni, Ulaina Tariq, Audra Thompson-Haile, Robin Burkhalter, Martin Cooke, Leia Minaker, 2021
  12. 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. Data brief: marijuana
  14. The Effects of Marijuana on the Teenage Brain
  16. Letter to Teens | NIDA Archives
  17. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Marijuana Use in e-Cigarettes Among US Youth in 2017, 2018, and 2020 | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
  18. 40% of US drug arrests in 2018 were for marijuana offenses | Pew Research Center
  19. Cannabis Effects on Driving Skills | Clinical Chemistry | Oxford Academic (
  20. Marijuana Research Report Letter From the Director
  22. Marijuana use and risk of lung cancer: a 40-year cohort study | SpringerLink
  23. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products | Electronic Cigarettes | Smoking & Tobacco Use | CDC
  24. State Medical Cannabis Laws
  25. Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions